Softball: Glenbrook North ready for sectional action
Northbrook - Softball game: Maine South vs. Glenrook North. Courtney Chron Glenbrook North makes the throw to first to get the advancing runner. | Joe Cyganowski ~ For Sun Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 11:56AM
The 2011 season brought unexpected success for the Glenbrook North softball team.
This season, the Spartans are simply trying to handle the high expectations. But a third straight trip to the sectional semifinal may have finally set the bar.
“It definitely put pressure on us, but we can handle pressure,” said junior pitcher Jenny McTague. “We put ourselves under pressure earlier in the season by playing good teams so that we’d know when it comes to (big) games, we know that we can play with that competition. We work hard, and I don’t think the pressure really affects us; we just go out there and play as we can, and hope that we get out of it what we put in.”
After four lead changes, Glenbrook North (26-5) snagged its third straight regional title with an 11-5 win over Evanston in the Niles North regional final on Saturday.
“It was not pretty, and not exactly how we would’ve liked to come out to play, but the end result is, a win is a win,” Spartans head coach Jenn Mau said. “My girls never give up. They’re going to fight and fight, and they did.
“We’ve been trying to build the program, and letting (the players) know that we are winners and that we should expect success. I think that’s the attitude that’s starting to build is that, ‘Yeah, we’re going to win this game no matter what it takes.’ ”
Sophomore Courtney Chron’s two-run home run in the fourth inning proved to be the difference.
“Courtney had some good, timely hitting,” Mau said. “She is a very strong girl. She’s a good hitter, and she’s only a sophomore. I couldn’t be happier to have a sophomore that could do that, and has that power.”
McTague homered to lead off the bottom of the first to begin the scoring.
With two outs in the third, junior catcher Alena Marovitz hit a double down the right-field line to tie the score, and eventually came in after Colleen Ahern hit another double to regain the lead at 4-3.
Mau brought in McTague for starting pitcher Ashley Gruenberg in the fourth, but the junior struggled, and was relieved after two outs.
“My fastball has a tendency to drop, and I think (Saturday) it just dropped a lot more than usual,” McTague said. “I didn’t really want to think about anything on the mound. I tried to change things, but I feel like I was thinking too much and it wasn’t working for me.”
Chron finished 2-for-3 with a homer and four RBI, while McTague went 2-for-3 with a walk and two solo homers.
“That definitely helped, and it definitely built up confidence,” McTague said. “Pitching was a little tough, but I just had confidence going back to the plate, and I just tried to hit it hard again.”